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Metro Mayor supports Starmer's 'honourable' resignation stance

By David Humphreys

Keir Starmer’s offer of resignation should he be issued with a fixed penalty notice (FPN) in relation to a possible Covid regulation breach was “honourable” according to Liverpool City Region’s Metro Mayor.

Former MP Steve Rotheram said the offer to step down by Labour leader Sir Keir in the event he is found to have breached lockdown rules in Hartlepool last April demonstrated the “stark” difference between the Labour leader and those occupying 10 Downing Street. When Prime Minister Boris Johnson was fined by the Metropolitan Police in April, Metro Mayor Mr Rotheram said “no-one is above the law” and called for both Mr Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak to resign.

Metro Mayor Rotheram said the pair had set an “unprecedented bad example” over lockdown parties at Number 10 but in response to the investigation surrounding Sir Keir, Mr Rotheram said it would be easy to paint both situations similarly. He said: “We hear a lot that all politicians are the same; it is an easy accusation to make. The reality is that they are not.

READ MORE: Updates from huge police scene on Huyton street as forensic officers search area

“In offering to resign should he be issued with a fine, Keir Starmer demonstrated that once again, unlike our Prime Minister, he is an honourable man who will do the decent thing. The difference between the Labour leadership and the so-called leaders in the Conservative Party could not be starker.”

Sir Keir, who has led the Labour Party for two years, is under investigation by Durham Police over an alleged breach of lockdown regulations during the Hartlepool by-election in April 2021. He was filmed drinking a beer and having a curry with colleagues in Durham but insists no rules were broken.

On Monday, the former Director of Public Prosecutions and his deputy, Angela Rayner, both offered to step down if they were issued with FPNs like the Prime Minister and the Chancellor. At the time, non-essential retail and outdoor venues including pub beer gardens were open but social distancing rules, including a ban on indoor mixing between households, remained in place.

Mayor Rotheram, who was Labour MP for Liverpool Walton from 2010 to 2017, reiterated his stance on Boris Johnson and said the Prime Minister should “do the right thing for the country” and step down for his role in breaking covid guidelines. He said: “Despite repeatedly misleading Parliament, actually being fined for breaking the rules he himself set, and being investigated for several further breaches, Johnson would rather cling to power than do the right thing for the country”.

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Dive Deeper:
Boris Johnson refuses to say he'll quit if Keir Starmer does over Covid laws
Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice said the Labour leader's statement shows 'respect' to Covid families in a complete contrast to…
PM should not have to copy any Starmer resignation, says minister
Policing minister Kit Malthouse says Labour leader has to ‘set his own standards’
Police issue about 50 more fines in Downing Street ‘partygate’ investigation
The Prime Minister and the Chancellor were previously hit with fixed penalty notices over a birthday bash in No 10…
PM and Cabinet Secretary not hit with latest partygate fines, No 10 says
The Metropolitan Police has made around a further 50 fixed penalty notice referrals as part of its investigation into lockdown-breaking…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Police issue around 50 more fines in Downing Street ‘Partygate’ probe bringing total to over 100
The Prime Minister and the Chancellor were previously hit with fixed penalty notices over a birthday bash in No 10…
What is Beergate? Keir Starmer row explained and what it means for his future
Keir Starmer vowed he would resign if he was fined by Durham Police over an event last April where he…
Get all your news in one place